Music videos return to UK version of YouTube after agreement with PRS

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Google has reached an agreement with the United Kingdom's PRS, which represents songwriters and composers, over the use of their members' material on video sharing website YouTube.

The YouTube logo.

In March of this year, thousands of videos were deleted from YouTube after negotiations with the PRS for Music over licensing had failed. Google has now resolved the long-running dispute over revenues by paying an undisclosed lump sum to PRS, which has been backdated until January 2009 and will last until June 2012.

Adam Shaw, PRS managing director for broadcast and online, said, "essentially we have created a framework for the YouTube platform playing music moving forward. We have 60,000 song-writer and composer members and many of them don't earn very much money at all - 90% of them earn less then £5,000 a year. The money we receive is really their living."

A spokesperson for PRS for Music told BBC News that, "it is a lump sum deal which seems to work for YouTube's business model and offers recompense for our 60,000 members. We can be friends again."

YouTube's director of video partnerships, Patrick Walker, said that at the time PRS wanted too much money and that the site would lose money whenever someone played a video. Walker said the reason behind the earlier decision was that YouTube would not make enough profit from advertisers to pay for the licenses.

"Both sides feel comfortable the arrangement reached will benefit those involved," Walker said.

"The music videos are an extremely popular part of YouTube and this deal doesn't only cover the music videos but also music included in TV programmes like The X Factor and also for the inclusion of music in user videos as well," added Walker as quoted by the BBC.

YouTube states that "The videos which had been removed will come back over the next few days."